All eyes are on the City Ground tonight as Nottingham Forest try to secure their mid-table position and put some distance between themselves and those scrapping in the relegation spots. While for Newcastle, whose form tailed off since the turn of the year, this is a must-win. From looking like a shoo-in for Champions League qualification, they are now among the pack seeking to break into the top four.
Forest are a team that has relied on home form and haven’t lost at the City Ground in the league since mid-September, but scoring and not putting games to bed has been a recurring theme. Jesse Lingard hasn’t so far been the prolific creative force that many hoped he would be and without Brennan Johnson (groin), Chris Wood (ineligible) and the direct physical threat offered by Taiwo Awonyi (groin) they are going to struggle to find goals.
A similar challenge lands on Eddie Howe’s shoulders, of Newcastle’s four away ties in 2023, they are winless – drawing three and scoring only one goal. In terms of aspiration and ambition, Newcastle must take three points. For Stevie Cooper’s Forest, a point would be a fair return and, if they are willing to wait for the visitors to over-commit, there is every chance they could get success on the break.
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United
Friday at 7.00pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
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